Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Great Wall discussing JV with Chinese and Turkish companies

Great Wall precious minerals and tantalum exporter company are in discussions with undisclosed Chinese and Turkish Companies to establish joint ventures for the exploration and extraction of deep pit mining for precious minerals Agate, Amazonite, Tormaline and Amber.
They plan to begin when suspensions on new explorations are lifted.
The company is also negotiating a joint venture plan with other undisclosed Chinese and Turkish companies for the exploration, extraction and export of Tantalum and Quartz.
According to Seifen Mohammed Managing Director of Great Wall Gemstone and Tantalum Exporter Company the company is negotiating to conduct a joint venture with the companies to explore for the minerals.
Used primarily for jewelry, the gemstones will be mined in Negele Borena and Hararghe areas of the Oromia regional state. The company also collects and exports minerals from the western region of Ethiopia in the Jimma area.  Great Wall has already exported about 350 thousand USD worth of Tantalum in the current fiscal year. Tantalum is a rare dense black mineral used in high tech equipments like mobile phones.
In the first three months of the fiscal year the Ministry of Mines earned nearly one million dollars producing and exporting 30 tones of Tantalum.
Seifen said they exported two qualities of Tantalum totaling three tons. The lower quality earned around USD120,000  and the higher one around USD 230,000 last year.
The year before Great Wall’s Tantalum exports amounted to around USD 200,000.   The company eventually plans to export about 60-70 tons of Tantalum worth up to USD 1.6 million annually.
Great Wall uses Artisanal miners from the Shakiso area of the Negele Borena region in Southern Oromia regional state to obtain some of the Tantalum.
Seifen further said the company plans to export less lucrative minerals like Kaolin, Feldspar and Dolomite, used for construction, to India and Turkey. So far Great Wall’s exports have all been to China.
The company also collects Opal, which is its most valuable mineral, from artisanal miners from the Delanta area of North Shoa region in the Amhara regional state.
Bureaucracy, disorganization of artisanal miners and the remoteness of some of the mining areas are some of the challenges the industry faces, he said.
Great Wall Precious Minerals and Tantalum Exporter Company was established in April 2011.